Actor-model Karishma Kotak, who hosted many pre-match shows at cricket tournaments, has opened up about how has been for women at such events. Recalling the time she started hosting, Karishma said that initially, the focus was for women to look glamorous and ask a few questions. Karishma added that she ‘was very paranoid that I shouldn’t look like a bimbo’. (Also Read | Karishma Kotak talks about her journey from wanting to become a teacher, to being a TV presenter)
Karishma participated in the reality show Bigg Boss season 6 as a contestant in 2012. She has presented the televised show called Extraaa Innings T20, a post-match analysis of Indian Premier League 2013. She also hosted the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Speaking with News18, Karishma said, “I feel that now it’s much better than when I started in 2011-12. But Mandira (Bedi) started before me. Shonali (Nagrani) started before me. So I felt like a couple of women had kind of set the path. They were there so it wasn’t new for another girl to be taken as an IPL host, but I think initially it was just like, ‘Glamorous dikho, chaar sawal karo and nikal jaao (Look glamorous, ask a few questions and leave).’ For example, ‘What’s happening in the changing room?’ ‘How do you feel you are playing with Dhoni?’ It used to be those basic questions and I was very paranoid that I shouldn’t look like a bimbo.”
She also added, “I think women get stereotyped quite quickly and I think it happens even in workplaces that we have to work extra hard to be like, ‘Oh, I’m not just an okay face. I know what I’m doing and I know what I’m saying.’ So when I did feel that way a little bit, that is when I sat down in the commentator’s box and I would listen to them commentating because that’s the way you learn. You get the inside information because you’re sitting down you’re watching and what you see as an audience and what you see as a commentator are two different things and I would just listen and I still do. So I think it’s much better now. I did feel that way, which is why I felt I need to up my game and now it’s been about 10-11 years and 100 tournaments later.”
Currently, Karishma is awaiting the release of her film IRaH, produced by Sam Bhattacharjee. The movie also features Rohit Roy, Ameet Chana, Fagun Thakrar and Rajesh Sharma and is based on the concept of artificial intelligence.
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